Beijing Wide Open: Bloggers detained in Beijing for live blogging for a free Tibet

Tibetan-Canadian Free Tibet activist and director of Students For A Free Tibet Lhadon Tethong has been liveblogging from Beijing. The activists have gathered in Beijing exactly one year before the Olympic Games are about to start – tonight, there will be the official countdown ceremony.

Their live blog Beijing Wide Open has declared their goal to “expose the reality behind China’s propaganda campaign surrounding the Olympic Games”. Sadly, this isn’t some weird paranoia. The Chinese government has not exactly been open to the ideas of free speech, free press, or real democracy.

In the middle of the night, Lhadon Tethong and one of her fellow activists were arrested. There has been no way of contacting them since.

Quote from the press release:

[The activists have been] followed at all times by several vehicles as well as plainclothes security officers on foot. This number increased to 30 plainclothes followers after a protest by six activists from Students for a Free Tibet yesterday on China’s Great Wall.

“At the very moment that China is proclaiming Olympic ideals of peace and humanity, it has turned around and silenced Ms. Tethong and Mr. Golding for nothing more than freely expressing their views on the Beijing Olympics and Tibet,

As BoingBoing’s Xeni Jardin pointed out, this whole experiment is either “incredibly ballsy or incredibly foolhardy, depending on how you look at it”. I tend to hope it’s the first, not the latter.

Also, I’d hope that Western governments wouldn’t go quite as easy on the suppression of basic human rights when dealing with China, Russia and other economically thriving, but repressive regimes. A bit of criticism doesn’t hurt, you know?

Link (via)

Update: According to their weblog, the two detained bloggers have been brought to Hong Kong now and are free, safe and well.


Why don’t we righteous Americans/Canadians set a good example for the Chinese by reliniquishing our established statehood towards Native American Independence? First Nation Independence?

Of cours not, we are hypocrits. We want to keep our stolen land and demand Tibet Independence.

Proverb goes “people living in glass house should not throw stones.”

Charles Liu has been awfully busy… I keep seeing his comments on story after story concerning the recent Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) protest. So to respond finally: First, Tibetans who make up a lot of the leadership of SFT have their own fight. And I personally know of non-Tibetan SFT activists who in addition to supporting Tibet, also campaign for justice for native/First Nations people in the U.S. and Canada. But handing the countries back to its’ native human population by removing 335 million invaders isn’t a possibility. Non-Tibetans supporting the Tibetan struggle isn’t hypocrisy, it’s solidarity and learning from history. And finally, on the rumor-mongering about Tenzin Khangsar, you just have the wrong guy. The one who is connected to the conservatives in Canada is a guy in his mid-30s who is NOT a member of SFT. The one who is a member is a 22-year old recent college grad. Yes, they have the same (quite common) name. Google it yourself again – it’s easy enough to figure out.